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Baptism is the first picture of righteousness but is not righteousness itself. This is confusing to many people but let's look at what Jesus says. So we can see the full picture. Matthew 3:15 ‭But Jesus answering said to him, “Permit it at this time; for in this way it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness.” Then he *permitted Him.

John did not want to baptize Jesus because He was already righteous. Then Jesus speaks this verse. He tells him first to permit it at this moment. He does not argue the point with John because John was correct. John needed to be cleaned by Jesus because he had sin not the other way around. Jesus had no sin. However, Jesus says permit it right now not because He needs it, but to fulfill all righteousness. The definition of righteousness in all uses in the gospel of Matthew is "to do what is right with God". God desires those who have been imputed with His righteousness to show the outward sign of this with baptism. Once a person is right with God in Salvation then he should follow what God desires which is for man to show God's righteousness in obedience. We see it is not required for salvation by the thief on the cross who was not baptized but yet Jesus said "today you will be with me in paradise." We also see in all of Paul's explanations of salvation he doesn't mention baptism. You can see this in Galatians 2:16, Romans 3:22-4:5, & Ephesians 2:8,9 plus Paul never mentions Baptism in 1 Corinthians 15:1-4 which is where Paul explains what the gospel is that provides Salvation. Perhaps the second best example of baptism being an imortant action AFTER but not required for Salvation is found in Acts 10:44-48 ‭ While Peter was still speaking these words, the Holy Spirit fell upon all those who were listening to the message. All the circumcised believers who came with Peter were amazed, because the gift of the Holy Spirit had been poured out on the Gentiles also. For they were hearing them speaking with tongues and exalting God. Then Peter answered, “Surely no one can refuse the water for these to be baptized who have received the Holy Spirit just as we did, can he?” And he ordered them to be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ. Then they asked him to stay on for a few days.

The proof of salvation is in the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. Because of this Salvation (already received) they were baptized not to receive it. However, as always the first and best example is always Jesus!

Jesus said "Permit it at this time; for in this way it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness.”

Baptism doesn't save but if you have been saved, AFTER your Salvation if you want to begin to fulfill the Righteousness of God then you should be baptized. Love Bro. Scott


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